190 Martha Street
Professor Richard Bunch - 9th Dan, Kudan
Professor Richard Bunch's training in Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu began in early childhood. He began training with Prof. Bill Montero, Sensei Glen Castlio and Prof. Ray Law. Later, at the age of 14, he began training with Prof. Sig Kufferath. Prof. Kufferath was regarded as Soke (head) of the Kodenkan Danzan Ryu style. Shortly afterward, in 1969, Prof. Bunch received his Shodan (1st degree black belt) from Prof. Kufferath. In 1971, Prof. Kufferath honored Prof. Bunch by recognizing him as his associate instructor, and later as chief instructor of the school. Over the course of 28 years, Prof. Bunch engaged in constant training and study with Prof. Kufferath at Nikko Jujitsu School. Since then, Prof. Bunch's rank in Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu has been elevated to Hachidan (8th degree black belt). This rank is recognized by Jujitsu America, Kodenkan Yudanshakai, Nihon Budo-In, Nihon Jujitsu Renmel, Kokusai Budo Renmel (IMAF), and other organizations. Prof. Bunch has also received high rank from Prof. Kufferath.
Over the years, Prof. Bunch has been fortunate to study with numerous masters of various martial arts and highly respected elder practitioners of Kodenkan Danzan Ryu Jujitsu who studied directly under Professor Okazaki. This has provided him with a broad perspective of various personal interpretations of this style.
He has studied many other martial arts including Japanese sword, weaponry and armor. Prof. Bunch's reputation as both a skillful martial artist and a scholar makes him a highly sought after instructor nationally and internationally. He actively teaches Jujitsu seminars throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia. He received the 1989 Instructor of the Year award from Jujitsu America.
Sensei Carla Bunch - 6th Dan, Rokkudan
Sensei Carla Bunch started her training in Jujitsu in the summer of 1987. She had the great fortune to train extensively with both Professor Sig Kufferath (the Soke and headmaster of the Kodenkan Danzan Ryu system) and Professor Richard Bunch, his successor.
Sensei Bunch has had the unique opportunity to work with many of the finest Jujitsu exponents in both the United States and Japan. In addition to possessing sound technical knowledge of the art (both Kata and combat), she also possesses a formidable fighting style envied by many of her peers--both female and male.
Professor Kufferath regarded Sensei Bunch as one of the finest female practitioners of Jujitsu.
Sensei Michael French - 4th Dan, Yodan
Sensei French began studying Martial Arts some 25 years ago at the invitation of a friend, Kirk Jaeger, who was to become his first sensei. Under Sensei Jaeger, Sensei French trained in both Danzan-ryu Jujitsu and Matsumura Shorin-ryu Karate under the auspices of the Kodenkan Yudanshakai. Jujitsu training came via the lineage of Professor Joe Holck, co-founder of the Kajukenbo fighting system and himself a student of the late Professor Sig Kufferath. Instruction in Okinawan karate was in the lineage of Professor Holck's son, Shihan Barry Holck, not only a Danzan-ryu practitioner himself, but also a dedicated karate student of Seijun Kina since 1971. In 1987, Sensei French was promoted to Shodan, first degree black belt in Karate.
After a move from Arizona to the Bay area, Sensei French began training at Nikko Jujitsu with Professors Sig Kufferath and Richard Bunch, concentrating on Danzan-ryu jujitsu. In 1994, Sensei French received his Shodan, followed in 2004 with his promotion to Nidan, second degree black belt.
Sensei French, a former world-ranked swimmer, considers himself extremely fortunate to have worked with the very best instructors in not one, but two areas of endeavor. And in following his parent's tradition of providing opportunities, Sensei French's goal is help students achieve their potential just as his teachers have done for him.
Sensei Andy Sturgis - 4th Dan, Yodan
Sensei Andy Sturgis began studying martial arts on his own in 1962 after having his interest piqued by a classmate and purchasing his first book about the arts.
In 1966, Andy joined the army and received training as a light weapons specialist along with hand-to-hand combat skills. After parachute school, he was sent to Vietnam for combat duty with the 173rd Airborne Brigade. After serving eleven months, he was shot during an assault on a hill. Roughly four years and multiple surgeries later, he started to regain the use of a paralyzed arm.
In the early 70s, Andy studied at his first traditional karate school. For about a year he trained daily with a neighbor, who was a bouncer and Kung Fu practitioner. He also studied Tae Kwon Do with Ki Chung Kim, a middleweight champion who had just arrived from Korea to open a school.
In 1978, Andy moved from New Jersey to California. He enrolled in Nikko Jujitsu in the early 80s and was given his Shodan by Professor Kufferath and Professor Bunch in the mid 90s. Andy said, "I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to have studied with them both, along with the many great artists that I have met during my years at Nikko."
Andy took a break from training and returned around 2002 to train with his sons, Robert and Christopher, who both show potential to develop into world-class martial artists.
Regarding his experience at Nikko, Andy had this to say: "My relationship with Nikko goes back a long way, and it is an extended family for me. I met my wife at Nikko while teaching her son. I am also teaching the son of a student that was in our kids' class many years ago. In my youth I aspired to be a great fighter, now I aspire to be a great teacher."
Senei Michael Martin - 2nd Dan, Nidan
Sempi Michael Martin started his career in martial arts in his home country England, where he became interested in Judo and was fortunate enough to be able to train at some of the top clubs in the country. While at college in London, he trained at the Budokwai (the oldest Judo club in Europe), the Renshuden and London University Judo Club. During this period in the early 80s, Judo was very strong in England and Michael was privileged to be able to train under Neil Adams (Olympic medalist and World Champion), Dave Starbrook (Olympic and World medalist) and Katsuhiko Kashiwazaki (5-time All-Japan Champion and winner of the Kano Cup). Michael received his Shodan in Judo and competed in regional and national events.
In 1991, Michael transferred with his company from the UK to California and took a long sojourn from Judo. In 2002, he joined Nikko Jujitsu and found it has suited him very well for his goals later in life: get fit again and learn a practical self defense art. His young daughter is now a member of the club, and according to Michael, she has much nicer throws than he does! When asked about training at Nikko, Michael replied, "Everything is just rightthe facilities, the atmosphere, the people and most importantly the level of instruction we receive! What more could I want?"